The Only 8 Link-Building Tools You Need in 2021 (Free & Paid)

No Comments

Link constructing has been my ardour for almost a decade. Before working for Ahrefs, I labored as a link-building marketing consultant, serving to dozens of shoppers construct lots of of hyperlinks.

What I discovered throughout this time is that you just don’t want dozens of link-building instruments. You simply want a number of of the very best ones.

And in 2021, I’m satisfied that there are solely eight of them.

Here are these eight link-building instruments:

  1. Ahrefs
  2. Google
  4. NeverBounce
  5. Buzzstream
  6. HARO
  7. URL Profiler
  8. website positioning Toolbar

The business’s favourite hyperlink analysis device

Let’s face it: You can construct hyperlinks with out Ahrefs, however you most likely wouldn’t need to. Ahrefs’ crawler is the second most active after Google’s, and our backlink index comprises over 3 trillion dwell backlinks. This makes it arguably the very best device on the planet for backlink analysis—an important on a regular basis activity for any hyperlink builder value their salt.

This might be why website positioning professionals persistently vote Ahrefs their link-building device of alternative, like in Aira’s 2021 State of Link Building report:

Poll where 137 people rated Ahrefs as most trusted link-building tool

My favourite distinctive function: Content Explorer

Content Explorer is a searchable database of over 9 billion pages. It’s incredible for content material analysis, nevertheless it’s additionally a terrific supply of hyperlink prospects.

For instance, let’s say that you just’re in search of hyperlink prospects for a weblog submit entitled “best routers for 2021.” One supply of potential hyperlink prospects might be folks linking to comparable posts that haven’t been up to date for years—as no one needs to hyperlink to an outdated checklist of routers, half of which most likely aren’t even obtainable anymore.

You can simply discover posts that match the invoice in Content Explorer:

  1. Enter a search time period like “best wifi routers”
  2. Switch the search mode to “In title”
  3. Filter for pages printed earlier than 2018
  4. Filter for English pages
  5. Filter for pages with 10+ referring domains

Now you see comparable pages to yours, with backlinks, that haven’t been up to date since 2017:

Content Explorer search results showing 216 pages that haven't been updated

You can simply obtain these pages’ backlinks from Site Explorer, then attain out and recommend that these websites hyperlink to your up-to-date checklist as a substitute of the outdated one from 2017.


Free to see backlinks to the web sites you personal utilizing Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT). If you need to analysis and look at different web sites’ backlinks and use Content Explorer, you’ll want a paid plan beginning at $82/month (though you’ll be able to take a seven-day trial for $7).

The world’s largest supply of hyperlink prospects

Most folks don’t consider Google as a link-building device, nevertheless it’s among the best methods to search out hyperlink prospects. That’s as a result of it has the biggest index of internet pages on the planet and arguably the very best search algorithm. So if you understand how to make use of it successfully, you’ll be able to simply discover 1000’s of related hyperlink prospects for free.

My favourite distinctive function: Search operators

Search operators are instructions that allow you to refine and filter search engine outcomes. Some are distinctive to Google, however not all of them (as you should use the identical or comparable ones in Bing or Content Explorer). But even those that aren’t completely distinctive to Google appear particularly highly effective there as a result of you’ll be able to mix them to drag precisely what you want from its insanely huge index.

For instance, you’ll be able to mix the intitle:, inurl:, and OR operators to search out related useful resource pages to pitch your hyperlink:

(intitle:assets OR intitle:useful resource) (inurl:assets OR inurl:useful resource)

Google search results with search operators applied

You can even mix intitle:, inurl:, and the - operator to search out authorship pages for prolific visitor bloggers in your business and probably write for these websites your self:

intitle:"tim soulo” intitle:creator inurl:creator

Google search results with search operators applied

The solely draw back of utilizing Google for hyperlink prospecting is that there isn’t any technique to obtain the outcomes. You can resolve this with a Chrome add-on like Ahrefs’ website positioning Toolbar, which has a button to obtain SERP information.



Powerful e mail deal with finder can discover all emails related to a website or a selected individual’s e mail deal with in seconds. For instance, right here’s how briskly it finds my e mail deal with:

Hunter quickly finding Joshua's email address

According to our testing, it’s not probably the most correct e mail lookup service, however one function greater than makes up for this in terms of hyperlink prospecting at scale: the Google Sheets add-on.

My favourite distinctive function: Google Sheets add-on

Let’s say that you just’ve exported some hyperlink prospects from Content Explorer and imported them into Google Sheets. You’ll discover that the export file contains the related creator title (the place we will discover it).

List of link prospects with some author names

Using Hunter’s Sheets add-on, you’ll find matching emails for these prospects with one click on:

Hunter finding matching emails and adding them in the list

This received’t discover a matching e mail deal with for each prospect, nevertheless it normally finds one for a good share of them. You can then use these prospects as your preliminary “hit” checklist to check the viability of an outreach marketing campaign. If profitable, have somebody discover emails for the remainder of the prospects to construct extra hyperlinks.


Free as much as 25 searches per thirty days, then from $49 per month.

Email verification and cleansing service

You ought to at all times confirm the deliverability of your prospects’ e mail addresses earlier than sending outreach emails. Fail to take action, and the deliverability of your complete marketing campaign might be negatively affected by bounces. It’s additionally a waste of time to personalize outreach emails just for them to bounce.

NeverBounce makes e mail verification tremendous straightforward. Just add a listing of prospects, and it’ll inform you whether or not every e mail is “valid,” “invalid,” “accept all,” or “disposable.”

NeverBounce page showing validation results for email addresses

It additionally routinely de-dupes the checklist, so that you’ll solely pay for every e mail verification as soon as.

My favourite distinctive function: Zapier integration

Everything revolves round Google Sheets once I do e mail outreach, which is why NeverBounce’s Zapier integration is such a godsend. You can shortly arrange a multi-step zap in order that whenever you enter an e mail deal with right into a Google sheet, it pings NeverBounce, verifies the e-mail, and logs the verification standing of that e mail in the exact same Google sheet.

Email verification status logged in the Google Sheet

Magic, proper?

But there’s one draw back to this method: the expense. If you go for Zapier’s $49/month plan, it’ll price you simply shy of an additional $0.025 every time the zap runs. This makes it no less than 10x costlier than doing it manually.

Luckily, there’s an answer: create a JSON importer in Google Apps Script to import information from NeverBounce webhooks. That might sound laborious, nevertheless it’s fairly easy. Ping me on Twitter if you need directions for doing this.


From $0.003 per e mail verification.

Outreach device and prospect supervisor

Gmail is nice when you’re solely planning to ship a number of outreach emails, however you want a devoted device to scale your e mail outreach. That’s the place Buzzstream is available in. It enables you to handle, set up, personalize, observe, and ship emails multi function place. You can even add a number of customers to your account and assign duties between them.

It seamlessly imports Ahrefs CSV exports too:

Buzzstream page showing Ahrefs as one of the import options

My favourite distinctive function: Buzzmarker

Buzzmarker is a Chrome extension that helps velocity up hyperlink prospecting. You can use it to search out contact info, add prospects to campaigns, and even compose emails from templates as you browse the internet.

Here’s an instance to grasp how this may be helpful in apply: Let’s say that you just had been shopping the online and got here throughout a useful resource web page or different related prospect. Hit the Buzzmarker, and also you’ll see any contact particulars it discovered for the web site. You may even add the prospect to an outreach marketing campaign in a single click on:

Buzzstream's list of identified contacts taken from ProPublica page

You even have the choice to compose and ship an e mail utilizing templates out of your Buzzstream account proper within the browser window:

Email template from Buzzstream account


From $24/month.

Connects journalists with sources

Journalists usually want insights, recommendation, or opinions from business specialists for his or her articles. HARO (Help A Reporter Out) solves this drawback by connecting journalists with business specialists by way of day by day emails.

Here’s the way it works in a nutshell:

  1. Journalists submit the supply requests to HARO.
  2. HARO sends three emails per day to its 800,000+ customers with these supply requests.
  3. HARO customers pitch the related requests to realize media protection (and normally backlinks).

For instance, right here’s a current request from (DR 91) looking for “great IKEA hacks from interior designers” for a roundup:

Email of the request from

If you submit a tip and it will get chosen for inclusion, you’ll normally get a point out and backlink from the web site.


It’s value checking the exterior hyperlink coverage on the web site in query earlier than submitting a tip, as not all websites hyperlink to sources. You can do that by checking a number of of their current posts for exterior hyperlinks.

My favourite distinctive function: Keyword alerts

HARO divides its requests into a number of classes so you’ll be able to subscribe solely to those that make sense for you. The solely drawback is that these classes are sort of broad:

Haro categories

For instance, requests within the “Business and Finance” class cowl numerous matters from Bitcoin to bank cards to website positioning.

HARO solves this drawback with its paid plans, all of which let you filter for alternatives by key phrase:

Three different Haro paid plans

But the fact is which you can obtain one thing comparable free of charge utilizing Gmail filters.

Here’s the way to set that up:

Various filters on Gmail


Free with paid plans from $19 per month.

Bulk website positioning metric and information puller

URL Profiler is a strong device that means that you can pull a wide selection of metrics and information related to URLs. Just paste in your URLs, tick the packing containers for the info you need to pull, and hit “go.”

URL Profiler menu options with box to paste URLs

My favourite distinctive function: Contact scraping

Earlier, I defined that Content Explorer pulls authors’ names the place it may well, which is tremendous useful for hyperlink prospecting when mixed with Hunter and NeverBounce. But when you’re pulling hyperlink prospects from elsewhere, you received’t have this info.

This is the place URL Profiler turns out to be useful. If you tick the “readability” checkbox, it makes an attempt to drag creator names from the checklist of URLs:

Options under "Content Analysis"

It’s removed from good, nevertheless it’s sensible for enriching hyperlink prospects pulled from Site Explorer or Google with creator names.

URL Profiler can be one in every of our utility companions, so you should use the info allowances included in your subscription to drag Ahrefs’ metrics for 1000’s of URLs directly. This is beneficial for when you will have discovered your preliminary checklist of hyperlink prospects with Google or one other device that lacks website positioning metrics and information.


Free for 14 days, then from $19.95 per month.

Handy website positioning assistant on your browser

The website positioning Toolbar is a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. It’s technically a part of Ahrefs, however I’m mentioning it individually right here because it has some utterly free options which can be tremendous helpful for hyperlink prospecting.

My favourite distinctive function: Internal and useless hyperlink highlighter

Neither of those options is independently distinctive. Many website positioning browser extensions do each issues, however I’ve but to return throughout one other that highlights useless and inside hyperlinks on the similar time.

This mixture is especially helpful when prospecting for useful resource web page alternatives as a result of the best hyperlink alternative has two attributes:

  1. It hyperlinks to exterior URLs. There’s no level pitching useful resource pages that solely hyperlink to inside assets.
  2. It has damaged hyperlinks. This provides you an additional worth proposition in your outreach e mail.

For instance, let’s say that we have now this resource page on our checklist of potential hyperlink prospects. Using Ahrefs’ website positioning Toolbar, we will spotlight inside and useless hyperlinks in only a few clicks:

Highlighted internal and dead links on resource page using Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar

Now we will see that the web page hyperlinks to many exterior assets (as most hyperlinks aren’t highlighted) and no less than one useless hyperlink. This makes it fast and simple to identify good prospects and create related, personalised outreach emails like this one:

Email draft containing personalized message to good prospect


Free, though it exhibits further information for Ahrefs clients.

Final ideas

Link-building instruments make life simpler. So though it’s doable to construct hyperlinks with out them, I wouldn’t advocate it as a result of velocity and effectivity matter. The longer it takes you to construct hyperlinks, the longer it’ll take to rank.

If you need to study extra about scaling your link-building efforts, these assets ought to assist:

Give me a shout on Twitter you probably have any questions.

About us and this blog

We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.

Request a free quote

We offer professional SEO services that help websites increase their organic search score drastically in order to compete for the highest rankings even when it comes to highly competitive keywords.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

More from our blog

See all posts
No Comments
  1. Pingback: buy viagra online free shipping

  2. Pingback: women viagra tablet

  3. Pingback: non prescription cialis

  4. Pingback: midway slots online slot machines

  5. Pingback: cialis 20mg no prescripion

  6. Pingback: 25 mg viagra

  7. Pingback: play slots online real cash

Leave a Comment